Vitamin D deficiency is considered a risk factor for autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D and its analogues have been proposed as therapeutic tools in autoimmunity considering their exquisite immunoregulatory effect against over-reactivity towards tolerance. Autoimmune diseases, nowadays recognized as emerging non communicable diseases, are characterized by a significant female bias. This sexual dimorphism seems related to sex hormones, which differently affect male and female immune systems. Males show higher immunosuppression, maybe due to androgens; the greater female immunoreactivity and competence, likely related to estrogens, lead to a greater resilience to infections but also to a higher risk for autoimmunity. Higher interest could be given to vitamin D-based supplementation or therapy for autoimmune diseases in relation to gender as well. OBJECTIVE: This review aims to discuss the role of vitamin D in autoimmune diseases with a view inside gender-related differences, in light of the interplay between vitamin D and sex hormones, especially estrogens. RESULTS: Some beneficial effects against autoimmune processes seem to be allowed by vitamin D acting in synergy with estrogens. This observation suggests that possible differences of vitamin D effects depend on the context in which this hormone is active. CONCLUSION: Rather sex-related differences of "absolute" vitamin D levels, the role of gender-dependent factors affecting vitamin D action seems to be critical. Gender and sexual hormones could be included as variables when evaluating the potential power of vitamin D receptor agonists as novel pharmacological tools to approach autoimmune diseases.

Vitamin D, autoimmunity and gender / Minisola, Salvatore. - In: CURRENT MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY. - ISSN 0929-8673. - STAMPA. - (2017).

Vitamin D, autoimmunity and gender

MINISOLA, Salvatore
2017

Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency is considered a risk factor for autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D and its analogues have been proposed as therapeutic tools in autoimmunity considering their exquisite immunoregulatory effect against over-reactivity towards tolerance. Autoimmune diseases, nowadays recognized as emerging non communicable diseases, are characterized by a significant female bias. This sexual dimorphism seems related to sex hormones, which differently affect male and female immune systems. Males show higher immunosuppression, maybe due to androgens; the greater female immunoreactivity and competence, likely related to estrogens, lead to a greater resilience to infections but also to a higher risk for autoimmunity. Higher interest could be given to vitamin D-based supplementation or therapy for autoimmune diseases in relation to gender as well. OBJECTIVE: This review aims to discuss the role of vitamin D in autoimmune diseases with a view inside gender-related differences, in light of the interplay between vitamin D and sex hormones, especially estrogens. RESULTS: Some beneficial effects against autoimmune processes seem to be allowed by vitamin D acting in synergy with estrogens. This observation suggests that possible differences of vitamin D effects depend on the context in which this hormone is active. CONCLUSION: Rather sex-related differences of "absolute" vitamin D levels, the role of gender-dependent factors affecting vitamin D action seems to be critical. Gender and sexual hormones could be included as variables when evaluating the potential power of vitamin D receptor agonists as novel pharmacological tools to approach autoimmune diseases.
2017
Vitamin D; autoimmunity; sex hormones; gender; therapy; personalized medicine
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01g Articolo di rassegna (Review)
Vitamin D, autoimmunity and gender / Minisola, Salvatore. - In: CURRENT MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY. - ISSN 0929-8673. - STAMPA. - (2017).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/957438
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